Alternatives for Sugary Sodas That Taste Just as Good
You might have a soda habit if you get a new case of soda every time you go grocery shopping. While sugary sodas are delicious, some drinks are better for you and taste just as good. Switch to healthy alternatives to soda to kick that habit and feel better.
Why Switch From Soda?
If sugary soda is a staple in your diet, it might be time to try something different. People who drink a lot of sugary soda are more likely to develop health problems, including dementia. Your risk of dementia increases by 25% when you raise your daily intake by only 10%. Soda has preservatives and excess sugar that affects your brain.
Dementia is common enough that around 5.6 million people are affected by it. There are lots of causes, so you should avoid doing anything that increases the chance you’ll develop it. While soda is delicious, your risk of developing dementia or other health problems decreases when you cut it from your diet. Some alternatives are just as tasty, so be excited about switching.
Healthy Alternatives to Soft Drinks
You don’t have to drink only water to be healthy. Some alternatives to soda are fun to try and taste just as good. Plus, these drinks will make change easy because they’re similar to soda.
1. Infused Water
Add your favorite fruits and vegetables to cold water to make infused water. The flavor strengthens the longer it sits, so put it in your fridge overnight for a taste boost. Since cucumbers are made mostly of water, they’re refreshing and perfect for this drink. Additionally, berries and diced melons taste great when infused together.
2. Fruit Juice
You probably already have a favorite juice that’ll make switching easy. You can drink orange, cranberry, apple or even pomegranate juice. If you can think of a fruit, assume someone has turned it into juice. It helps that there are so many options since you can try new flavors whenever your tastebuds want a change. All of the flavors are healthy alternatives to soft drinks.
If you want the fun of a cocktail with a healthy twist, then a mocktail is your go-to. These drinks are fully customizable and give you limitless choices. To make one, simply follow a cocktail recipe and leave out the alcohol. Mix syrups, juices, mixes and more to create a healthy drink that tastes like coke.
4. Apple Cider
Apple cider is a fun seasonal alternative to soda. It’s a drink made from the juice of pressed apples. It goes through little processing and remains mostly pure, although some store-bought options contain added sugars. Thankfully, you can make this one at home if you have apples and spices.
5. Shirley Temple
If you still want the sweetness of soda without the health risks, try a Shirley Temple since it’s a healthy alternative to soda. It’s a classic drink made with carbonated water, lime juice and grenadine. It tastes like a lemon-lime soda with cherries, so it’ll be a welcome change.
6. Italian Soda
Mixing carbonated water with syrup isn’t as healthy as drinking plain water, but it’s still a healthy alternative to soft drinks. Mix flavored syrup with sparkling water — and possibly cream — to make a tasty Italian soda. You can pick whatever flavor of syrup you’d like. Plus, if you choose the right flavors, you can even make a healthy drink that tastes like coke. While it’s not necessary, many people choose to add cream for another layer of flavor.
Most people have a cup of coffee daily, so you might already be used to drinking it. Plus, as long as you limit your caffeine to 400mg a day, coffee is healthy to drink. Experiment with flavors and roasts to find a type you’ll love.
You can pack smoothies with a bunch of great fruits and vegetables. Mix whatever you like in a blender with ice and milk for a great drink. A fruit smoothie won’t necessarily substitute a sugary soda, but fruits contain sugar and are much healthier.
You can find tea in just about any flavor. It can contain caffeine, so it’s an excellent choice for a little energy boost. Also, its various ingredients improve mental clarity, soothe upset stomachs and relieve headaches. You’ll feel better if you substitute soda for tea.
10. Sparkling Water
Water makes your body function by keeping you at a regular temperature and protecting sensitive organs. Try sparkling water if you don’t want to switch directly to plain. It has the familiar bubbliness of soda and a fraction of the sugar. Plus, it comes in many different flavors to make the transition easier. It’ll be easy to enjoy healthy drinks that taste like coke.
11. Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is nostalgic and simple if you want something to sip on other than water. Plus, different kinds of milk — like almond, soy or oat — have health benefits. Milk contains many key nutrients and improves bone health. If you like the idea but prefer a sweet taste, chocolate milk will work. Beyond that, there are fun flavors like strawberry or blueberry.
A warm day always calls for an ice-cold glass of lemonade. It’s a refreshing mix of lemonade and sugar, so you’ll still have the sweetness of soda without the adverse effects. Lemonade is a healthy choice because lemons contain vitamins that support your immune system and prevent sickness.
Also, you can make lemonade at home by squeezing lemons and mixing the juice with water and sugar. Fresh fruit is a healthy alternative to the preservatives in soda.
13. Coconut Water
The clear liquid inside coconuts is called coconut water. It tastes great, is low in sugar and barely has calories. Plus, it contains electrolytes, so it’s perfect for after exercise or a night of drinking. You can drink coconut water by itself or mix it with other things for a tasty drink and an amusing experience.
14. Chai Latte
A chai latte combines steamed milk, black tea and spices and tops everything with foam. The drink is served warm or cold. It tastes like a combination of coffee and tea and has strong notes of cardamom and cloves. While it tastes best as a seasonal drink, it’s served year-round. On top of that, the ingredients contain antioxidants that might help prevent dementia.
Healthy Alternatives to Soda
Whether you want to start drinking other things entirely or just cut back on soda, these drinks will make great healthy alternatives. Try a few types and experiment with flavors — you might find your new favorite drink.
Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, healthy living, and anything food-related. In her spare time, Beth enjoys trying out new fitness trends and recipes.